- - Saturday, March 3, 2018

RICHMOND, Va. — Poor Brianna Cummings, the senior guard for George Washington.

She may be the top scorer this season for the Colonials, but she had the nerve to make the only turnover by her team on Saturday at the Richmond Coliseum.

That’s right, the GW women, in 40 minutes of play, took 60 shots from the field, but Cummings made the only turnover by the Colonials.

“And her turnover was so bad! She threw it right to the other team,” GW coach Jennifer Rizzotti said in mock horror, while smiling.

GW had reason to be giddy as the No. 5 seed Colonials stunned regular-season champion and No. 1 seed Dayton 58-53 in the Atlantic 10 Conference semifinals Saturday. Dayton (23-6) was the conference tournament champ last year and had beaten GW in two earlier meetings this season.

The Colonials (18-13) will now play for the tourney title on Sunday at noon against Saint Joseph’s, a 58-49 winner over Saint Louis in the other semifinal later Saturday. The winner gains an automatic bid to the NCAA women’s tournament.

Rizzotti, a former All-American guard at UConn, was the coach for Hartford for 17 years before she came to GW in time for last season.

She said she has never had a team make just one turnover in a game.

“We beat a really good team today,” she said. “They set the standard for the Atlantic 10 this year. What a day. A good day for GW. We learned a lot from the games we played against them. I am proud of my players.”

Cummings had 15 points, Neila Luma and Kelsi Mahoney had 12 each and key reserve Kelli Prange, of Damascus High in Maryland, had 10 points and 8 boards off the bench for the Colonials.

GW was 20-10 last season and appeared in the WNIT. Now, the women from Foggy Bottom are looking for a spot in the NCAA field.

“Last year was really disappointing,” Cummings said Saturday. “It wasn’t what we wanted. We took care of business (Saturday). But we are not finished.”

“It was just our heart and determination,” Mahoney said. “We did our job and executed. It was our heart and drive (that mattered) today.”

And what about just one turnover?

“Name of the game: take care of the ball,” Mahoney said. “We did that today.”

The Colonials advanced on Friday by beating local rival George Mason.

The Atlantic 10 men’s tournament begins Wednesday at Capital One Arena in the District. It will be the first time D.C. has hosted the A-10 men’s event. Bernadette McGlade, the conference commissioner, told The Washington Times on Friday that she hopes to have at least 7,000 to 8,000 fans per session at the men’s tourney.

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